The tyranny of lowest price

The tyranny of lowest price

A great blog from Seth Godin  – this one on price and the effects lowering your price can have on a business offering.
“Lowering the price is a one-directional, single-axis choice. Either it’s cheaper or it’s not.
At first, the process of lowering your price involves smart efficiencies. It forces hard choices that lead to better outcomes.
Over time, though, in a competitive market, the quest for the bottom leads to brutality. The brutality of harming your suppliers, the brutality of compromising your morals and your mission. Someone else is always willing to go a penny lower than you are, and to compete, your choices get ever more limited.
Read the rest of the article here


Sir Humphrey Prideaux OBE MA DL

Sir Humphrey Prideaux OBE MA DL

Basingstoke Gazette: Sir Humphrey Prideaux, who passed away aged 98 earlier this month
He was kind enough to write the following when I moved down to Bath:
“During the last five and a half years, Debbie Newman has been employed in a part time capacity as hirings manager for Lord Wandsworth College Enterprises Ltd. During that time she has established the company as a growing concern  and has thus made a significant contribution to the financial strength of the College.  Her previous professional experience brought inside knowledge of many potential clients which was particularly useful in the start-up phase, but the success of the company has been mainly due to her organising ability and her happy touch with clients. She has a shrewd financial instinct, a good knowledge of accounting procedures and manages her budgets very tightly.
Her warm and friendly personality is ideal for work in this field where human relationships are all important and her professional skill has been proved beyond all doubt.     I can thoroughly recommend her”.
Sir Humphrey Prideaux,    August 1992

Here’s the report from the Basingstoke Gazette and with thanks for the use of the photograph

Take Action

Set a date

Set a Date

Set a date is part of the “Take Action” that is so crucial in business; another great post from Seth Godin – short and succinct.
Especially relevant perhaps for people starting their own business for the first time and not really realising the importance of delivering by the date you have promised, or even earlier if you can.

Seth Godin
Seth Godin

“”If you haven’t announced a date, you’re not serious.
Pick a date. It can be far in the future. Too far, and we’ll all know that you’re merely stalling.
A real date, a date we can live with and a date you can deliver on.
If your project can’t pass this incredibly simple test, it’s not a project.
Deliver whatever it is you say you’re working on on the date you said you would, regardless of what external factors interfere.
Deliver it even if you don’t think it’s perfect. You picked the date.
And as a professional, the career-making habit is this: once you set a date, never miss a date””.
Seth Godin

Coaching Leadership Leadership/Management

CEO Productivity – 6 Tips to Steal for Yourself

CEO Productivity – 6 Tips to Steal for Yourself

Lots of common sense suggestions here in this article by Nina Tamburello for The Daily Muse on 21/4/14 suggesting ideas for CEO Productivity Tips.

Juggling the leadership helm can stretch every resource when managing time, resources and multiple demands whilst keeping a clear head to make those important decisions and find time to work on the business instead of in the business.

CEO Productivity
CEO Productivity

1. Take breaks every 90 minutes

2. Make yourself uninterruptable sometimes

3. Manage your energy, not just your time

4. Don’t be a slave to email

5. Keep your emails short and sweet

6. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Check out the article here


The value of business coaching

The value of business coaching

The value of business coaching is brilliantly defined in this 40 second You Tube video from Eric Schmidt, formerly Google CEO.
He was asked “what is the best bit of advice he was ever given?”
And his response: “to get a coach”.
He goes on to say that every athlete, performer has a coach. Someone who can watch what you’re doing, ask if that’s what you really meant, and can give perspective.
The one thing people aren’t good at is seeing themselves as others see them.
Eric Schmidt on the value of coaching


Brand Customer Engagement Customer Loyalty

Customer Loyalty – What A Goldfish Can Teach You

Customer Loyalty – What A Goldfish Can Teach You

I loved this article about customer loyalty written by David Edelman, McKinsey partner leading Digital Marketing Strategy Practice.

Not only is it great for customer loyalty,  but it’s also a great example of customer engagement.  The whole sales process has turned on its head and once you have that contract signed and delivered the goods or service, then it’s really only the start of your customer engagement journey.
You then want to have given your client/customer such an amazing customer journey and experience that he/she tells all his/her friends about it.  This idea of a goldfish, if wanted, in your hotel bedroom, is neat on many counts – original,  simple and authentic.  It’s unexpected and will naturally encourage people to write about in on their various social media blogs/posts. It won’t break the bank.  Great ROI I imagine too.
So what does it take to get to this?  A great team, brainstorming, lateral thinking, perhaps an outside influence and sounding board?  What do you think?

Customer Loyalty
Customer Loyalty

7 Reasons Not to Use Internet Explorer

7 Reasons Not to Use Internet Explorer

An interesting post from   (29/4/14) about the foibles of using IE.  Just this last week when updating my own website I really began to understand some of the differences between using IE and Chrome. Quite a different look, sometimes, especially the way it seems to allow Skype to take over the contact numbers.  And with Constant Contact which I use for my newsletters, some basic formatting rules just fall over on IE whereas they work fine on Chrome.  And a colleague’s website header was perfect on Chrome but not right without a lot of work done on IE – even the latest version.

 So understanding more fully the reasons not to use internet explorer has helped me…  I hope you find it useful too.   Has IE had its day then?

“Since the recent security lock-down of Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer) yesterday  I figured I should write a post to all those people who still may actually be using Internet Explorer

Drum roll please…

Reason #1 – IE is broken beyond repair. Literally there is no solution.

“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a post Monday morning.

Read the article here

Data Protection

Telephone Preference Service laws enforced

Telephone Preference Service laws enforced

I was really pleased to read that Dorset County Council Trading Standards Service has brought a company to book which has resulted in the Telephone Preference Service Laws Enforced and legal precedent set.  Hoorah!  I’m sure I’m not alone totally exasperated by with cold calling  when,  despite repeated requests, you know that your name is not going to be removed from the list, no matter how hard you try.  Why is it that company owners who rely on telesales just don’t bother to buy a ‘clean’ list?  Would have been a lot cheaper than the £36K fine.

“TPS chief warns telemarketers of increased risk of fines as trading standards enforces TPS laws for first time

The Telephone Preference Service has warned businesses conducting sales and marketing calls of an increased risk of fines after a local trading standards authority made a legal first by prosecuting a company for calling people registered on the TPS’s ‘do not call’ list.

In February, Dorset County Council Trading Standards Service issued a first-of-its-kind fine to a home improvements company, Apple Group Holdings Limited, for making unwanted sales and marketing calls to residents registered on the TPS. The company was fined £36,000 for causing ‘persistent nuisance’ to elderly and vulnerable people. This action has set a legal precedent, paving the way for companies operating nationally to be fined for TPS breaches in every county it operates.

Read the rest of the article here from the Direct Marketing Association

Social Media

UK Social Media User Demographics

UK Social Media User Demographics & Their Suitability According to a Company’s Target Group

I thought this was an interesting article with lots of facts and figures about UK social media user demographics  for your edification!  It’s written by Elisa Sakki for Optimise Blog.
It’s easy to think that ‘my customers don’t use social media’.  And for sure some of them might not, but others will use it in their free time even if not for work, so when considering which marketing communications route to include in your overall marketing strategy, it would be a brilliant if you could break down your target customer into ‘buying personas’ from which you can then calculate whether or not each persona is likely to be using which social media path, both in his/her work time and free time.  Would be delighted to work with you on this if you need help.
“With 85% of the UK population stating that they have used Internet, it is becoming clear that companies can now approach a wide range of people by implementing on-line strategies. Apparently this is something that many have already realized since 1/3 of the advertising spend is going intoDigital Marketing.

But what British do when they are on-line? According to last year’s McKinsey & Company report, UK citizens spend on average 289 minutes per day on the web excluding the time consumed on search engines and on-line shopping. From this time the vast majority, 61 minutes, is used for Social Networking purposes followed by Internet browsing (52 minutes), reading/writing emails (40 minutes) and editing documents or photos (23 minutes). More details can be found on the following diagram”.   Read the rest of the article here. 

Social Media breakdown 2013